Since the time I was old enough to appreciate mail, I have enjoyed both receiving and sending mail. In the past year and a half, I have become very lax about sending letters and cards--well if you discount the fact that I have been writing a whole bunch of thank you cards for wedding gifts and baby gifts. Upon receiving a very sweet letter from my great-aunt last week, I have been encouraged to get back in the habit of writing to friends and family.
I have also been inspired to find other letter writers; I suppose this is because sometimes I feel like the world has turned its back on this time-honored tradition of communicating via the handwritten letter. In my search I have stumbled on several blogs that revolve around letter writing. Two of my favorites are 365 Letters and A Year of Letters.
Over the past few years, I have read several books about letter writing. In the past few days I have been rereading the couple that I own. I mostly finished rereading For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing by Samara O'Shea. Everytime I read this book (including the first time I read it), I skip over the chapter about writing racy letters. I think the author did herself a disservice by including this chapter in the book. Otherwise the book has several good suggestions, but the author gives the air of being a little bit immature at times. I am currently rereading The Art of the Personal Letter: A Guide to Connecting Through the Written Word by Margaret Shepherd and Sharon Hogan. It is a delightful read and has many wonderful tools to help readers begin or revive a letter writing habit. It is a book that makes me want to write more letters--not a bad thing seeing as I definitely need that encouragement.
So I have been inspired to write more letters from several sources over the past week. Now the question remains: Have I put these plans into action? Amazingly, yes I have. I have sent a few birthday cards and letters and a few notes of congratulations. Of course, I have also sent another half-dozen thank you cards as well, but I am not counting them as a part of my quest to send more correspondence, as that seems to be the only mail I had been keeping up with at all. Now comes time for me to issue a challenge: sometime this week, write a letter to someone you care about.